Overview Of Hub Sites In SharePoint Online

In here, we’ll discuss the following topics related to Hub Site.

Table of Contents

  • What is Hub site?
  • Why Hub Site?
  • How to create a Hub site?
  • How to add a Team site or communication site Hub Site?
  • Some key features or use cases of Hub sites.
  • References

What is a Hub Site?

In simple words, we can say that the Hub Site is a collection of sites connected to a master site from where all connected sites can be navigated and managed. It has the following key attributes.
  • Discover related content such as news and other site activities,
  • Apply common navigation, branding and site structure across associated sites
  • Aearch across all associated sites.
Example - let’s say you are a project manager and managing multiple projects in SharePoint, .NET, and Java etc. And for these different types of projects, you have different site collections. Now, we want to maintain the same look and feel for all the project sites and want to navigate through from one project site to another project site seamlessly and want to share the common news across all departments/project sites. Here, Hub Site is a way to go. We need to connect these site collections to a Hub site. In the coming section, we’ll see how a site can be connected to a Hub Site.

Hub Site architecture

SharePoint Online - Hub Sites

Why Hub Site?

For our above project sites scenario – if we want to achieve the same, we need to have a root site called Projects and under this, various subsites (SharePoint, .NET, Java etc.) which will form the nested architecture and this will lead to a bad user adoption experience when it comes to navigation. One other really big challenge – let’s say we have 10 subsites and out of 10, in one subsite, we need to activate a feature (let’s consider publishing feature) which has dependency with site collection level feature, so first, we need to activate in site collection level even though its irrelevant for other 9 subsites. As a result, for a site administrator, it is very difficult to manage.
So, Microsoft has recommended using flat architecture, i.e., no subsites. We should adapt to create a new site collection for each requirement. Whether we like or not, we are bound to adopt this fashion – let’s say we have created an Office 365 group and immediately if we come to active sites pages in the modern admin center, we can see one modern new site has been created automatically with the Office 365 group name.
Having said this, it does not mean that we cannot create a subsite – still, we can, but Microsoft does not recommend it.

How to create a Hub Site?

Any active site can be designated as a Hub Site through the modern SharePoint Office 365 admin center or PnP command. Go to the modern SharePoint admin page and under site, click on Active Sites.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Now, we can see all available active sites out here - now planning to make “TestSite001” as Hub Site. To do this, let's follow the below steps.
  • Select the “TestSite001” radio button
  • Click on “Hub” drop-down list
  • Click on “Register as hub site”
  • Give the display name of the hub site and owner
  • Then, click the Save button  
This will take some time to complete all the required settings.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Now, a site has been configured as a “Hub Site”.
In a tenant, we can have multiple Hub Sites (maximum 100 sites)

How to add a Team site or communication site to the Hub Site?

Adding a site to a Hub Site is like adding a brother and sister to an elder brother (i.e. Hub Site).
Now, we’ll see how a new and existing site can be connected to a Hub Site. This is the homepage of the newly created Hub Site.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Click on +Create site button, then give the site name; For example, “TestTeamSite_Brother” (we can give any name).
Then, click the "Save" button.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Now, we can see the wonder – come to the SharePoint modern admin homepage and go to Active Sites screen. We can see the newly created Team site listed out here which is connected to the Hub - Project "Hub Site”.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Another way is, we can connect any existing site to a hub site. Let's do that – select the particular existing site radio button and from Hub menu, click on "Associate with a Hub" link.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Select the Hub Site from the dropdown list and click on the Save button. This will take some time to do the all required configuration.
SharePoint Online - Hub Sites
Some key features or use cases of Hub Sites.
  • Shared navigation
  • Search across the hub
  • News roll-up
  • Associated sites
  • Highlighted content
  • Events
Please click here to know more about the Hub Sites features and use cases.